Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is There an Academic Role for the Social Sciences in Data Science?

I've spent most of the space in this blog exploring routes for a social scientist to become a data scientist. However, Justin Kern's recent article "The State of Business Intelligence in Academics" has turned my thoughts briefly back to academia. Kern reports on a survey by the organizers of BI Congress that found that, although business intelligence courses are taught primariliy by information technology and management information systems departments, they're increasingly being offered outside those discplines, in particular in finance, marketing, and accounting.

I wonder what role social scientists should be playing here? Should we merely be taking classes from other departments, or should economics, poiltical science, and sociology departments have their own offerings in data science? (Since this survey reported specifically on business intelligence courses, it's possible that similar courses in the broader field of data science were missed, but I would suspect that such offerings are pretty rare in the social sciences.) I'd love to get some comments on this subject.

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